Generations in the labour market

Weighting of the generations on the labour market
Between 1991 and 2021, six generations were present on the labour market. The baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, dominated the labour market until 2009, i.e. one year before the legal retirement age of the first members of this generation; their share accounted for almost half of the economically active population in 1995 (46.0%). In 2010, they were overtaken by generation X (born between 1965-1980), then in 2014 by the millennials (generation Y, born between 1981-1996). In 2021, generation X still prevailed on the labour market (35.9%), but is being overtaken by millennials (Y) (35.2%). The baby boomers accounted for only one in six economically active persons (16.5%) with many having already retired. The new generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012) accounted for more than 1 in 10 economically active persons (11.7%). Finally, the silent generation (those born between 1928 and 1945) has almost completely left the Swiss labour market (0.6%).


Activity rate of men and women

From the ages of 25 to 45, there were no significant difference in the activity rate among men and women between the baby boomers, generation X and the millennials (generation Y). In contrast, there was considerable change in the labour market participation rates among women between the generations. The maximum gap between the activity rates of men and women has narrowed considerably throughout the generations: 31% for the baby boomers (at 32 years), compared with 19 points within generation X. The gap was only 11 points among the millennials.

Statistical sources and concepts

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